See more from this Session: Graduate Student Poster Competition: Breeding, Physiology and Stress Management
Subsurface drip irrigation, commonly used to conserve water in turfgrasses, has been shown to irrigate more uniformly and efficiently than sprinkler systems. However, establishment of turfgrass can be delayed when drip irrigated. Recently, a new subsurface irrigation technology called KISSS (Kapillary Irrigation Subsurface System) has been developed to distribute water more evenly throughout the rootzone. A geo-textile layer encloses the drip line to prevent loss of water due to downward movement. Information is lacking on the feasibility of using this technology to establish and maintain turfgrasses. Research was conducted at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, from fall 2009 to summer 2010 to determine if KISSS irrigated Festuca arundinacea (Schreb.), cv. Justice established differently than sprinkler irrigated plots when potable (500 ppm) and saline (1600 ppm) irrigation water was applied. The study was carried out on a sandy skeletal mixed thermic Typic Torriorthent, a sandy entisol typical of arid regions. Plots were seeded on September 28, 2009. Seventy days after seeding (December 7, 2009) KISSS irrigated plots with potable water exhibited highest coverage, followed by plots sprinkler irrigated with saline water. In spring 2010 (210 days after seeding) all treatments reached approximately 30% coverage with no differences among treatments. In August 2010 (10 months after seeding), potable and saline irrigated plots reached coverages of 88% and 82% respectively. There were no differences in establishment between irrigation systems. Results indicate that irrigation systems do not affect establishment with either potable or saline water.